Arcadia 1900, Champagne D’ Orient

a selection of Chania Film Festival


Municipal Cinema KIPOS
Wednesday 05 & Thursday 06 July 2023, 21.30

General admission : 5 €
People with disabilities, Unemployed, Over 65 years old: 2 €



Director: Konstantinos Spyropoulos Writer: Konstantinos Spyropoulos
Director of
Photography: Stathis Galazoulas
Music: Evanthia Reboutsika Country of Production:

Runtime: 78 min

Cast: George Michalakopoulos, Isidoros Stamoulis, Sofia Seirli, Odysseas Stamoulis


The film "Arcadia 1900, Champagne d' Orient" records the story of the Papanikolaou brothers, who managed to produce excellent sparkling wine in the village of Riza, in Tegea, Arcadia, from 1885 to 1935.

In the first scenes we see George Michalakopoulos, as Spyridon Papanikolaou, strict father of the family, reading in the newspaper the news that some Greek wines were distinguished abroad. "Why not me?" asked the capacious ecclesiastical goods dealer and gemstone importer. It was around 1885 when he realized that it would be the right move to exploit the rich vineyards of Arcadia. So he sent his two sons to study oenology.

One son, Vasilios Papanikolaou (Isidoros Stamoulis), after studying at Monpellier, became the oenologist and at the same time the scientific figure of the family, adding, already in 1900, innovative winemaking techniques. He proceeded to dozens of scientific publications, in one of which entitled "Arcadia under Oenological Perspective" he wrote the phrase/inspiration for the title of the film ("Arcadia could become the Campania of the East"). It was clearly based on the similarity of Campania to the plateau of Mantineia in terms of soil composition and microclimate.

The results were impressive! From 1885 to 1935 the Papanikolaou family produced sparkling wine of fine quality from Fileri (Moschofilero). They exported to the largest international markets, opened stores in Athens and a wine bar (since 1901 please!) in Omonoia, next to the "New Stage" Theater of director Konstantinos Christomanos, won international distinctions at the World Exhibitions of the time.

But generational and character conflicts rage within the family. The business acumen of the second son, Nikolaos Papanikolaou (Odysseas Stamoulis) fell at high speed against the wall erected by politicians, banks and competitors, leading the family and the winery to ruin.

Director and screenwriter Kostas Spyropoulos tells us: "A story about wine and greed. For missed opportunities." Choosing as a cinematic language the mixture of representational scenes with snapshots from the archives, he characterizes the film as a dramatized documentary about an unknown but important Greek wine history.